Salvador Ramos had opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Texas, taking the lives of 19 children and two adults
A non-profit organization has come under fire after its founder posted a tweet asking whether the Uvalde school shooter Salvador Ramos, who took the lives of 19 children and two staff at Robb Elementary School, was an illegal immigrant. Gretchen Smith, who is the founder of Code of Vets, shared, “Pray for the victims, families and community. The killer was Salvador Ramos 18 years old. Did he cross the border illegally? Our nation has a serious national security crisis evolving. God help us🙏🏽.”
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Smith’s tweet soon began receiving the wrath of people with one user saying, “You’re using a nonprofit account that is supposed to be helping vets. And because the word vet is in the name your tying to the rest of the us vets. It’s as if you’re specifically using this platform to reach a bigger audience otherwise it would be on your personal account.” Another one wrote, “Girl what about the dude that shot up the grocery store???? He wasn’t an immigrant sooooo……” “Did he cross the border illegally??? Tf why ? What does that have to do with anything,” the third one questioned.
A person tweeted, “FYI…I have a Mexican last name..been here all my life. Maybe you’re the security concern.” Another person remarked, “I’m sorry but the thought of how he got to this country, should not matter. I came to this country illegally, I became a resident and then enlisted. I went to Afghanistan and fought for this country and became a citizen. So am I a bad guy because of how I got here?”
“So you look at his name and you thought illegal? Wow,” a tweet expressing shock at Smith’s post read. “@codeofvets that may be the most inappropriate, ill timed and classless question you could ask. How would you feel if he is a US Citizen and 18 children and 3 teachers were here on Visas. I am certain the many Vets you help would be ashamed of your comments. Do Better Be Better!!” another tweet added.
Many people took to Facebook as well to slam Smith. A comment stated, “Code of Vets here is what we won’t do. Pretend to care about a community you know nothing about. As a veteran & a veterans wife, who grew up 80 miles from this community. Let me tell you 90% of this community is predominantly Mexican, Hispanic, Native American. And that 30,000 non-citizens (immigrants) currently serve in our military as we speak, as you type ignorant comments like this on social media. That’s just currently active! Not to mention the vets before them. The hollowing feeling in this community, topped with border patrol presence is enough. Just shut up. Leave these people in peace to try to collect whatever pieces they have left. Don’t dare pretend to know a community. Just don’t.” “Hey I’m a veteran too I signed up to serve my country. But my name sounds Hispanic does that mean I crossed the country illegally? Just asking,” a user sarcastically wrote.
Who is Gretchen Smith?
Smith is the founder of the Code of Vets for the United States Air Force (USAF) veterans. According to the organization’s website, the inspiration behind its foundation was Smith’s father “Sgt. Danny E Smiley. He was a Bronze Star Medal recipient, a 100 per cent disabled Vietnam Veteran – exposed to agent orange. He lost his battle with PTSD at age 57. R.I.P Dad.”
Smith herself is also an Air Force veteran. She realized the need of opening an organization for vets’ help after the death of her father. “From every $1 donated…98 cents goes towards meeting those needs that range from a gas card to getting an apartment for unhoused veterans. ‘We operate at a 2% operating cost. All of our financials are transparent because we want everyone to be fully aware that their money is going directly to places of need and is changing lives,'” the organization’s website mentions.
Apart from being on Twitter, the organization has a Facebook as well as Instagram page, where it keeps sharing about its work and achievements. The Facebook page notes, “We are a 501c3 utilizing social media platforms to assist veterans and families in real time. We operate with a 2% budget. Our mission is to take care of our own. One veteran at a time.” One of the recent posts was about how a veteran was helped by the organization that sent $1,200 after he lost his job due to covid shutdowns.
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